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Tectonic and stratigraphic evolution of the Western Alboran Sea Basin in the last 25 Myrs

Abstract : The Western Alboran Basin (WAB) formation has always been the subject of debate and considered either as a back-arc or a forearc basin. Stratigraphic analyses of high-resolution 2D seismic profiles mostly located offshore Morocco, enabled us to clarify the tectonic and stratigraphic history of the WAB. The thick pre-rift sequence located beneath the Miocene basin is interpreted as the topmost Malaguide/Ghomaride complex composing the Alboran domain. The structural position of this unit compared with the HP–LT exhumed Alpujarride/Sebtide metamorphic basement, leads us to link the Early Miocene subsidence of the basin with an extensional detachment. Above the Early Miocene, a thick Serravallian sequence marked by siliciclastic deposits is nearly devoid of extensional structures. Its overall landward to basinward onlap geometry indicates that the WAB has behaved as a sag basin during most of its evolution from the Serravallian to the late Tortonian. Tectonic reconstructions in map view and in cross section further suggest that the basin has always represented a strongly subsiding topographic low without internal deformation that migrated westward together with the retreating slab. We propose that the subsidence of the WAB was controlled by the pull of the dipping subducting lithosphere hence explaining the considerable thickness (10 km) of the mostly undeformed sedimentary infill.
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Damien Do Couto, Christian Gorini, Laurent Jolivet, Noëmie Lebret, Romain Augier, et al.. Tectonic and stratigraphic evolution of the Western Alboran Sea Basin in the last 25 Myrs. Tectonophysics, Elsevier, 2016, 677-678, pp.280-311. ⟨10.1016/j.tecto.2016.03.020⟩. ⟨insu-01291175⟩

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